“John, you’re so talented, but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along.”
In a recent essay written for the New York Times, John Leguizamo fires shots at the apathy — from politicians to those in Hollywood — that leads them to overlook Latinos in the U.S. The veteran actor-comedian begins by revealing he’s often told he would have been a bigger star if he wasn’t Latino. Leguizamo says the lack of respect for Latinos didn’t begin with Trump. “We have grown up amid an entrenched disrespect for Latin culture, and we have often internalized that disrespect,” writes Leguizamo. He believes Donald Trump is only parroting what the media has been telling us for years. “Without media representation expanding to include more Latin faces and voices, we are vulnerable to a demagogue like Mr. Trump claiming that we are all ‘drug dealers,’ ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals.'”
“We need a Latino Spring in this country.”
John Leguizamo understands prejudice, and he doesn’t hold back when fighting against it. In just a few hundred words, he eloquently enumerates many of the contributions Latinos have made to this country, and he anguishes over the outright lack of respect that many of us still face on a daily basis. When he finally calls for a Latino Spring, he’s speaking from a place of anger and also hope. Closing out his piece, The Guiz doubles down on his stance: “Latinos need to demand our place in American history, and in corporate, political and social fields. We must demand an equal share of the American dream, and not accept a downgraded version of it.”
Check John Leguizamo’s amazing essay over at the New York Times.